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Posted Mon Jan 26 2009: from Mongabay:
Palm oil may be single most immediate threat to the greatest number of species
Efforts to slow the rapid expansion of oil palm plantations at the expense of natural forests across Southeast Asia are being hindered by industry-sponsored disinformation campaigns, argue scientists writing in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution. The authors, Lian Pin Koh and David S. Wilcove, say that palm oil may constitute the "single most immediate threat to the greatest number of species" by driving the conversion of biologically rich ecosystems -- including lowland rainforests and peatlands.... Despite substantial scientific evidence to the contrary, the industry claims that expansion has not occurred in natural forest areas and that oil palm plantations sequester more carbon than rainforests.... "To effectively mitigate the threats of oil palm to biodiversity, conservationists need to persuade consumers to continue to demand both greater transparency in land-use decisions by governments and greater environmental accountability from oil palm producers."
[Read more stories about: rain forest depletion, ecosystem interrelationships, deforestation]

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